North Pocono CARE (Citizens Alert Regarding the Environment), a local environmental organization, needs volunteers to help do some shrub planting to restore shade in an area along Ash Creek in Clifton Township transected by a PPL powerline. The event coincides with celebrations of Earth Day and Clean Streams Week in Pennsylvania, and will be held on Saturday April 21, beginning at noon.

Volunteers will meet at the Games Lands parking area on Clifton Beach Road, 3.1 miles west of the traffic light at Rt. 435. Because of limited parking, car pooling is encouraged. Volunteers should wear hard-soled shoes or boots, wear layers, bring work gloves and a small shovel or a pry bar, and be prepared for some rough ground.

Lunch and water will be provided, and families are welcome to help. In the event of heavy rain, the planting will be held on April 28.

In 2015, NP CARE received a planning grant from the Coldwater Heritage Partnership to study the potential impacts of the PPL transmission line on Ash Creek, a tributary to the Lehigh River located in Clifton Township, Lackawanna County. The Coldwater Heritage Partnership is a joint effort of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited, and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.

The Coldwater Heritage Conservation Plan for Ash Creek was approved earlier this year. The results of the study, in brief, were that no significant differences in water chemistry or aquatic life upstream and downstream of the transmission line right-of-way were found at this time, but there was a 1 degree centigrade increase in water temperature downstream in the summer months. The loss of shade has impacted this cold-water stream and cold water is crucial for brook trout. As a result, the plan recommends compatible riparian planting in the transmission line right of way in cooperation with PPL and the Pa. Game Commission. PPL and the Game Commission agreed to the planting of American elderberry and grey dogwood in this riparian corridor.

The plants are 12 - 18" and bare root, so a small area is to be cleared for each shrub, a hole dug, top soil added and the plant inserted, securing it with more top soil and tamping it down.

Take route 435 south to the traffic light at Clifton Beach Road. Make a right and travel 3.1 miles to unpaved parking lot on right, just opposite West Plank Rd. From the other direction, the distance from the Thornhurst Twp Building to the parking area is 4.0 miles.

For additional information and to let NP CARE know you are coming, call Barbara L. Smith, NP CARE president, at 570-472-3274.